Looking Forward: The coming stupidity

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    It's an interesting way of looking at things. An interesting suggestion of correlation.

    In almost every sphere of public opinion, Americans are moving away from the administration, not toward it. The Ipsos/McClatchy organizations have been asking voters which party can do the best job of handling a range of 13 different issues. During the first year of the Obama administration, the Republicans gained ground on all 13.

    The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

    The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

    The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

    A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity.

    The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy — with bloated government, unsustainable deficits, high taxes and intrusive regulation.


    I'm always hesitant to fall back on the whole "people are stupid" idea, or divide my view of right and wrong according to education. But it's not just the last ten years; rather, almost the whole of the period in which my political conscience has been active has been defined by the difference between being smart or stupid.

    I should qualify. Smart and stupid, as such, do not directly correlate to educated or uneducated. Among the finest minds in history are many who lacked formal education, or performed poorly in school.

    But American politics has long been permeated by a strain of anti-intellectualism that has resulted in contradictory definitions and principles, general buffoonery, and a kind of blindness toward our collective humanity.

    Among this anti-intellectual crowd—or, as Brooks puts it, those who oppose the educated class—we encounter all manner of counterintuitive, counterfactual, and downright ridiculous quirks. In my youth, with music and books, the argument was, "Our freedom of speech is violated because we can't make you shut up!" The last eighteen or twenty years have seen repeated assertions—gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation—that one is only equal if they are held to be legally and morally superior. Recent years have seen our national prestige plummet, and the anti-intellectualists don't seem to understand why. After all, if one opposes a policy of the United States, they are anti-American, and that explains the problem. It could never be that the policy itself is bad.

    We must torture others so we can be better than the tyrants who torture. We must kill indiscriminately so that we can be better than the terrorists who kill indiscriminately.

    And, heaven knows, the last thing a creationist should do in order to be thought scientific is propose a scientific hypothesis.

    The only possible reason anyone could disagree with these points is because they are anti-American bigots.

    It can't possibly be that censorship is censorship, torture is torture, murder is murder, and science is science. It can't possibly be that "because I say so" isn't a good reason to start making exceptions.

    "They hate us," President Bush explained, "for our freedoms." Which is why we turned around and started throwing our liberty to the wind. Give the terrorists what they want; that's the way to beat them.

    It's like everything has become a sardonic joke. The same people who lamented the lowering of standards when I was younger are now those who want us to lower standards to include them. The same people who fought to silence others now complain loudly that they are being silenced. There is an argument among racists and other bigots that rejecting their bigotry is an act of hatred. Intellectually, and ideologically, this is chaos.

    In the near term, the tea party tendency will dominate the Republican Party. It could be the ruin of the party, pulling it in an angry direction that suburban voters will not tolerate. But don’t underestimate the deep reservoirs of public disgust. If there is a double-dip recession, a long period of stagnation, a fiscal crisis, a terrorist attack or some other major scandal or event, the country could demand total change, creating a vacuum that only the tea party movement and its inheritors would be in a position to fill.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of this movement. But I can certainly see its potential to shape the coming decade.


    One step forward, two steps back. For the Tea Party and its fans, this equals progress.

    Consider indulgent liberty. We celebrate in this country low and primal instincts, the liberty of greed and gratification. While it is an unfortunate prospect to spend the next several years trying to accommodate a political class that is not so much uneducated as it is simply stupid, I'm unsure what else we should expect. Sadly, what we see in the Tea Party is a periodic culmination of everything these United States have always stood for.


    Brooks, David. "The Tea Party Teens". The New York Times. January 5, 2010; page A21. NYTimes.com. January 18, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/opinion/05brooks.html
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I didn't like the wording as it confuses correlation with causation.
    There's nothing wrong with being skeptical of global warming and it's even more of a worry when American's are told: the problem will solved by market forces. THAT'S just crazy. If there's a real problem and it is so serious then it will either be solved by an extension of the military (like the Panama canal) and governments all working together - or it will not be solved. I'm inclined to lean to the later. IF CO2 is as bad as everyone says then the only real solution is to reduce the number of humans.

    Not to get side tracked but I didn't think it was written objectively.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Agreed. It was written by a leftist who equates conservatism with stupidity and/or ignorance. It's just that sort of arrogance and condescension that turns people against the "educated class".
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    Are you calling David Brooks a leftist?

    Brooks is a pro war, pro wall Street, borrow and spend Republican. He just resents that his wing of the Republican party is losing ground to the teabagger wing of the Republican party.
  8. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Well, you have to remember, that arrogance and condescension is mostly the only things they can do adequately!

    Few if any could actually work and accomplish anything. ....so they have to talk a lot - mostly about cutting other people down - which they equate to building up themselves.

    Baron Max
  9. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Don't matter what he is or isn't, what he wrote is leftist, arrogant bullshit. If he's a right-wing Rep, then he has a poor way of wording it ...and he should take lessons in English grammar.

    Baron Max
  10. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

    When it said that the tea party's beleive in big government, he was wrong. Tea Partys are all about the people, Big government isn't.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    So I wasn't the only one who noticed?
  12. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

    It's elitism that they don't like.

    since the begining of societies, high finance, internationlists, crooked politicians and powerful markets have been comming together to give the masses a "royal" screwing.

    It's believed that the USA was formed with the expressed intention to create a system in which this kind of consolidation of power was limited.

    So I would agree with Tiassa in that it's always been in our roots.

    To make it worse, Obama has yet to show himself as anything but happy to go about business as ussual in washington.
  13. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Too bad the educated class aren't in office, Tiassa.

    Quit assuming your high ground; left-wingers are often the 'uneducated' class, and the working-class and the potheads.

    Most entrepreneurs are probably to the right, like Richard Branson, and they are the educated ones.

    So no, the educated class are the ones not in office; though I do predict the extreme coming stupidity on the horizon, from the liberals. Good grief, when will the liberals join the 21st century?
  14. kmguru Staff Member

    It does require education AND critical thinking...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    When empire is about to go down, fluff rises to the top....
  15. kmguru Staff Member

    Wrong. The majority of the right wingers are blue collar workers (Rush Limbaugh's listeners). They do what they are told. I am sure you can check out the demographics by calling one of the right wing radio stations and offering your company as the would be sponsor.
  16. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    The majority of people in general are blue collar workers (working class). What's your point?

    I'm not saying right-wingers are all rich, but rather I would not be surprised of a large number of rich people were right-wingers.
  17. kmguru Staff Member

    The point is education and critical thinking skills.

    Yes, a smart right winger is rich, because he/she does not care about the country as long as he/she can exploit the people. Bernie Madoff is a good example.

    Bottom Line is this:

    I am a right winger if I outsource my operation to a foreign country where I can employ 500 people there and sell my products here to those blue collar workers. My reasoning - hey if I do not do it, my competitor will. I do not want the government to interfere in my outsourcing business.

    I am a left winger, if I keep employment here say 300 (you may need more foreigners to do the same job). But I will get mad if the government has a policy for my competitor to send the jobs out easily. The fair thing my government should do is take care of the people such that we all have jobs here. Unfortunately one party makes it easy to send the jobs, while other one tries unsuccessfully keep it here.

    Both sides have no idea the mechanism of job loss!
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Anyone who thinks David Brooks is a leftist is pretty damn ignorant in the field of media analysis.
    Or stupid, I suppose.

    Elitism is an established, well known, overtly defended norm in rightwing intellectual circles, and the heirs of William Buckley are quick to claim elite status for themselves and merit as the standard for everything from wages to voting rights. The governing of us all by a small elite who know what they are doing is a standard rightwing authoritarian fantasy, promoted by everyone from Ayn Rand and Pat Robertson to the PNAC.

    The trend Brooks has noticed and misdescribed (that which is to be identified as "intellectual" by the American mob is not randomly chosen) is one he has been abetting, the causes of that trend propaganda initiatives and political efforts to which he has regularly contributed and which he has always supported, his entire professional life. He has been well paid for his efforts at seeing to it that Americans are ignorant and incapable of sound political thought, and he should take his money and go home. He can watch the consequences of the triumph of what he fought for, on TV, for the rest of his wasted life.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  19. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    their is a correlation between intelligence and education and left wing politics.
  20. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I didn't even notice the name, I was just judging by what he wrote. Nevertheless, he is the liberal's favorite "conservative" and he was also an early supporter of Barack Obama. See his 2006 Op Ed: Run, Barack, Run. His relationship with Obama has been described as a "bromance". (The New Republic). So he seems to be more of a centrist than a real conservative or liberal. The Op Ed in question seems to represent some of his more liberal sensibilities.
    Sure. Intelligent people are more likely to pursue a higher education. Sadly, our universities have been overtaken by the Left so while pursuing said education many people succumb to the left wing indoctrination.
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    I bet that makes it easier for to deal with life but its simply untrue. Their is no indocrination towards left wing ideas in colleges. that is a myth perpetuated by right wingers to deal with their failings in acadamia. Higher education brings people into contact with lots of different ideas that tends to make people left wing. their is nothing insidious about that.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The Op Ed in question is self-serving, self-excusing, history free and fact repressive corporate friendly bs, like everything else Brooks writes.

    That isn't what defines them. That would work just as well as a definition of a lefty anarchist.

    What defines them is that they consider this betraying educated class to be leftists, by definition, and vice versa - that education itself is "liberal" in their sense, not the traditional meaning. What defines them is that they blame that merger on liberals and leftists and Democrats, and consider all liberal, leftist, or Democratic initiatives to be in furtherance of it.

    They watched W&Co operate for eight years, and came away persuaded that the merger of big business with big government was the fault of overeducated liberals.

    And for that tragic delusion, so damaging to their prospects of beneficial political influence and representation, so self-defeating and ugly, we have the likes of David Brooks to thank.
  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Right. I spent 8 years on a college campus. I'm quite familiar with the general outlook of the professors. If my personal observations aren't convincing enough for you:
    College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.

    By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

    The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.
    Contrast that with the general public in which conservatives outnumber liberals two to one.
    Washington Post

Share This Page